Monday, March 2, 2009

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Several years ago when I was in high school, a fella by the name of Conor Moran and I started a club called the Semi-Pro Wiffle Ball Union. The Semi-Pro Wiffle Ball Union, or SPWU for short, met two days a week after school behind the math classrooms to play wiffle ball. In order to get people to show up, and because we thought it was funny to make our headmaster say it, we marketed SPWU on the daily announcements with the tagline "SPWU, it's the greatest thing since sliced bread." Our headmaster always read our announcement with a sort of defeated, "why am I reading this shit?" kind of tone. Well, as is the custom us kids grew up. After several years, and three devastating wiffle ball related injuries to my knee, SPWU was no more. Now, as I relax in relative splendor on this snow day, something new has captured my attention. The MLB network is the new "Greatest thing since sliced bread."
Whenever I stop into my mother's house for dinner or over the weekend, I make sure to soak in as much MLB network as I can. On Saturday, I was able to watch a Spring training rematch of the World Series between my Phils and the Rays. As the great Northeast prepared for yet another snowstorm, it was great to see the Boys of Summer tuning up for the regular season, and Ryan Howard knocking the ball around. The best part about MLB network though, is the classic games. A few weeks back I got to watch the Mariners/ White Sox game from many years back in which Mike Cameron (steroids) hit 4 home runs. It was very interesting to reflect upon those two teams several years later with what we know now. The Mariners won something like 115 games that year and were led by stars like Bret Boone (roids), Ruben Sierra (roids), Adrian Beltre (roids), Mike Cameron (again, roids) and Ichiro (Japanese man). On the White Sox side, we had current Nationals stud Jon Rauch pitching as a starter and giving up 10 runs in about 1/3 of an inning. It all seemed so surreal with how baseball has changed over the past 7 or 8 years. So cool.
The MLB network also features solid commentary from guys like Harold Reynolds (the baseball clone of NFL referee Mike Carey or vice versa), Dan Plesac (who sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at the Cubs game when I went to Wrigley Field) and Al Leiter. Quality commentary, quality programming, quality sport. What else is there to say? If you don't get the MLB network, I suggest you call your cable provider today. It is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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